Once upon a text screen

I don’t text.

I have a cell phone and I use it to make phone calls but I don’t use the text message feature and it’s not because I don’t know how. I just don’t want to.

I have this thing about typing a message on itsy bitsy little keys when I can leave a voice mail and be done in nano seconds. Or just talk to the person. The tiny keys frustrate me. It takes too long. My voice is instantaneous. And I guess it might also be because I’m not in my teens or my 20s and I’ve not made the jump.

So imagine my disdain when I read that in Japan, people are writing novels on their cell phones and they are actually selling like hot cakes (do hotcakes really sell?) as soon as they are printed onto paper. According to this article in the San Diego Union Tribune, five of Japan’s 10 bestselling novels in 2007 were originally written on cell phones. Cell phones. And get this, most were love stories written in short, choppy text-message lingo; a sub-language all its own which makes grammarians everywhere howl in pain whenever they see it.

But wait. There’s more. Three of the 10 were written by first-time cell phone novelists during snatches of their free time. Those snatches of story, written without literary finesse, were uploaded, dumped onto paper,bound and sold on the street to readers all over Japan. One such story sold 400,000 copies. Nearly half a million books.

That makes me howl in pain.

Can you hear me now?

Author: Susan

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